At his blog Yaoi 911, Alex Woolfson notes the disappearance of Baralover, a scanlation site for bara manga, which is gay-male romances written for a male audience (as opposed to yaoi, which is mostly written by women, for women). Upon contacting the site, Woolfson learned that its hosting provider changed the terms of service and is no longer allowing adult content. So it wasn’t shut down by publishers’ threats, just a change in terms of service and a webmaster who decided to move on to other things.
Unlike yaoi, which has a small but insanely dedicated following, bara hasn’t made much of an impact in the U.S., and I don’t think anyone is publishing it commercially here. However, Christopher Butcher just blogged about one of the more popular creators, Gengoroh Tagame, who not only has an English-language blog but has expressed a willingness to have his work published in English. Apparently a rumor has been going around that he was approached by the Tom of Finland Foundation but turned them down; Tagame wants the world to know that the rumor is not true, and he is willing to entertain offers, and his work is already being published in several other languages. Could this be the next publishing niche?
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